Weekly Commentary: Israel's Real Friends Discourage Stalemate and Encourage
Dr. Aaron Lerner 25 February 2023
A lot of well meaning American Jewish leaders and others are contributing to
our incredibly dangerous stalemate over judicial reform by publicly calling
for some kind of halt in the legislative process.
I'll put the cards on the table:
#1. The laws as passed already or about to be passed in the first reading
Establishing that the Supreme Court cannot review Basic Laws without
delineating what can be designated to be a "Basic Law" or requiring any
special majority for a Basic Law to pass.
Requiring a unanimous vote of all the Supreme Court members to void a
regular law which violates Basic Law and then providing that 61 MKs can be
override the Supreme Court ruling.
#2. Opponents of judicial reform are ALREADY "BURNING THE CLUBHOUSE",
lobbying around the world for Israel to be punished financially and
otherwise as if the reforms as described in the texts in the first reading
accurately represent the final versions.
#3. The leadership of the ruling coalition openly says that they
intentionally left room for concessions in the wording of the reforms passed
in the first reading so that opposition leaders can claim victories when the
final versions are brought to the second and third readings.
As MK Simcha Rothman, the Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law, and
Justice Committee put it in an interview published in the Friday Ha'aretz,
"To questions like 'do you support all of the sections of the [judicial]
reform I would also reply no. After all, I announced that after the first
reading I would put in changes."
#4. We won't really know the true situation until there are serious
negotiations over the law.
#5. With elements of the opposition to judicial reform determined to stop
ANY reform, a halt to the legislative process will create an environment in
which those opposition leaders who would otherwise negotiate in earnest
instead play for time in the expectation that the reform initiative dies.
So calls for a halt or delay in the legislative process only encourage a
continuation of the dangerously destructive stalemate.
Friends: If you want to help Israel urge the opposition to go to the
You have nothing to lose.
If it turns out that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu doesn't stand by his
promises that the final texts will be reasonable there will more than enough
time to take a stand based not on conjecture but the actual final wording of
the proposed reforms.
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